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The Painted Veil
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Past Group Reads > The Painted Veil by W. Somerset Maugham (Ch.54-80)

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Jamie  (jaymers8413) | 615 comments Mod
This is for the discussion of The Painted Veil by W. Somerset Maugham (Ch.54-80).


Gitte (GitteTofte) | 127 comments I just finished it this morning. I was very touched by the ending!


Jamie  (jaymers8413) | 615 comments Mod
I was glad she realized her faults and wanted a better life for her child.


Linda Coulombe (LindyLue) | 4 comments I finished the book last night though in the end her character had transformed into something of substance and she was going to love her father in a way he deserved; I can't help feel disappointed and a bit unsatisfied that she and Walter never worked out their marriage before he died. I know real life is never so romantic but I wanted her to upon discovering all of Walter's amazing traits to fall in love with him at last.


Jamie  (jaymers8413) | 615 comments Mod
Linda wrote: "I finished the book last night though in the end her character had transformed into something of substance and she was going to love her father in a way he deserved; I can't help feel disappointed ..."

I felt the same way. I didn't think Walter was that bad and he loved her so much. I wanted her to feel true love so she realized what she had done to Walter by having an affair. Do you guys think Walter truly love Kitty?


Gitte (GitteTofte) | 127 comments That's a good question, Jamie, and difficult to answer as we never get Walter's point of view. He knew who she was from the very beginning - he e.g. knew why she married him, that she didn't love him, that she was shallow, selfish and that they didn't have anything in common. I find it difficult to believe that he truly loved her. Yet he still wanted to share his life with her and grieved when she had an affair.


Jamie  (jaymers8413) | 615 comments Mod
Maybe he loved the idea of her. She must have been on of those people you can't help but look at and want to be around.


Linda Coulombe (LindyLue) | 4 comments Jamie wrote: "Linda wrote: "I finished the book last night though in the end her character had transformed into something of substance and she was going to love her father in a way he deserved; I can't help feel..."

At first I thought he loved her in ways most people cannot; without expectation, knowing she didn't love him and was grateful for the opportunity to be with her. However, he was also very selfish in forcing Kitty to accompany him to a cholera infested part of the country. He essentially admitted his plan was for both of them to die. They then found out she was pregnant and he killed himself instead. Great that he spared her from his "experiments" but he just threw in the towel and gave into his grief without even considering the possibility of forgiveness and reconciliation. In the end, I felt they both were the same, though Kitty carried on and seemed to want to change; both acted selfishly and thought only of what they wanted and not what the other needed in their marriage.


Regina (ReginaR) I just finished it and loved it!

I think Walter was incredibly selfish, his love was not something to want nor admirable. He only wanted Kitty because as Kitty says in the end - -he wanted to sleep with her so badly that he was willing to pay for room and board for the rest of his life.

I don't think Kitty was selfish at all. In the beginning she was, but only due to lack of experience. Once she gained that experience she became very selfless, toward Walter, toward the orphans, toward her father, and toward her child. It was never a marriage in the sense that she was merely being chosen because a man desired her. He did not know her or even like her.

This is the second book I have read recently from this time period that has a wonderful critique of gender roles. The ending is so hopeful and expresses what I had thought was a modern sentiment, but I guess is not. :) I wonder if the ideas expressed in this book


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